On day 5 I removed more stone from under the arm and sanded the whole piece with medium grit sandpaper in water. This is an intriguing discovery phase revealing details of the stone's character. A beautiful green vein appeared up the back of the sculpture (great news) but the white blotch on the man's belly persisted. I find the belly blotch distracting and intend to resand the area with rough paper to remove a skin of stone from the entire belly and hopefully decrease the blotch's intensity. Out damn spot. like Lady MacBeth, my scrubbing intensifies.
This is a current work in process, carved from a piece of soapstone about 12" high that my father and brother found in BC. I had the stone for years, looking at it, trying to determine which side was up and what sculpture hid within. The shape was a leaning rectangle with a point on on corner and the point drove me crazy... like a gigantic nose. Then one day when I was looking at the block the true shape appeared. The point on the corner wasn't a nose, it was an arm extending to the side. Inside the stone was a man pointing "Go that way".
The next day I hauled out my angle grinder and rough shaped the piece while removing defects in the stone. Day 2 was spent filing details and smoothing out the curves then I set the sculpture on our kitchen counter for reflection. I asked Pam what she saw and was suprised to hear that she saw a large bird head over an egg. On Day 3 I reshaped the top of the piece and rough sanded it. When Pam saw it on the counter she said it looked like a man pointing. Success for concept but the pointing arm didn't look right to me so Day 4 involved removing stone from under the arm and improving the aesthetics of some curves. A few days later when Sondra, Justin, Shirley and Jack were over to visit I asked what they saw. Person pointing, little man pointing, fat man pointing and a bat. Say what??? A bat??? Hmmm. OK, I see it. The stone under the pointing arm is a wing. Tomorrow's task is to remove more stone from under the arm while being careful not to remove so much that it becomes too thin to look balanced with the rest of the fat man's form. It's fun watching the sculpture emerge.
Thousands of potential sculptures lie within each and every uncut stone. Sometimes the destiny is obvious when I see a stone and sometimes releasing the sculpture within is a long journey following countless hints and inspirations.